DATE: April 22, 2008
Esin Gulari, (864) 656-3202
Susan Polowczuk, (864) 656-2063
Hodges named director of the School of Computing
CLEMSON — Larry F. Hodges has been named director of the School of Computing in the College of Engineering and Science at Clemson University effective July 1. Hodges comes to Clemson from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he serves as professor and chairman in the department of computer science.
“Education in computing is as much about learning how to think critically about issues and how to solve problems as it is about how to create and use technology,” said Hodges. “The technology is continually changing, but the problem-solving skills learned in computing classes can serve a student throughout life.”
The School of Computing at Clemson was formed in 2007 as part of Engineering and Science Dean Esin Gulari’s mission to prepare students for all aspects of computing and as part of a university-wide emphasis on information technology and high-performance computing to allow for rapid development of emerging, interdisciplinary research and academic programs.
"Larry Hodges, in the position of director of the School of Computing, brings to Clemson a tremendous vision,” said Gulari. “The goals are to maintain a nationally competitive computer science division that is a leader in the definition and advancement of emerging academic fields in computing through the development of divisions that integrate computation with the arts, humanities, sciences and engineering.”
The School of Computing initially will focus on three divisions: computer science, computational arts and human-centered computing.
"Human-centered computing is a new area in that it is concerned with understanding both how to make computational technologies more useable and how computational technologies affect society,” said Hodges. “This new area will develop strong ties with existing programs on campus, such as industrial engineering; electrical and computer engineering; engineering and science education; CU-ICAR; and the disciplines that study human behavior, such as psychology and sociology.”
According to Hodges, computational arts will leverage the interdisciplinary Master of Fine Arts program in Digital Production Arts, which has successfully launched many Clemson graduates into animation careers.
Hodges has a record of helping build successful programs in computing and in collaborating with researchers from other disciplines and backgrounds. He was a founding member of the Graphics, Visualization and Usability (GVU) Center at Georgia Tech, where he and collaborator Barbara Rothbaum of Emory University developed virtual reality exposure therapy to help patients with anxiety disorders, such as a fear of heights, overcome their phobias.
"In computer science, it is unusual for people to write and say to you that your research has transformed their lives. The best part of this work has been the number of patients who have said virtual reality therapy changed their lives for the better,” said Hodges.
Hodges received his Ph.D. from North Carolina State University in 1988. His research in 1995 investigating the use of virtual reality in treating phobias garnered international attention. In 2006 he received the IEEE Virtual Reality Career Achievement Award for his contributions to clinical virtual reality.
In addition to his research work in clinical applications, Hodges has maintained an active research agenda in numerous other areas of virtual reality, visualization and 3D user interface design with more than 150 published papers. He has served as general chairman of both the IEEE Virtual Reality Conference and the ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology. He currently serves on the steering committee of the IEEE VR Conference and on the Editorial Board of IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics.